Leaders in Supply Chain and Logistics with Radu Palamariu

#48: Bill Driegert Head of Operations and Co-founder of Uber Freight

July 19, 2019 Season 1 Episode 48
Leaders in Supply Chain and Logistics with Radu Palamariu
#48: Bill Driegert Head of Operations and Co-founder of Uber Freight
Chapters
Leaders in Supply Chain and Logistics with Radu Palamariu
#48: Bill Driegert Head of Operations and Co-founder of Uber Freight
Jul 19, 2019 Season 1 Episode 48
Radu Palamariu
Uber Freight seamlessly connects trucking companies with loads to haul.
Show Notes Transcript

Uber Freight seamlessly connects trucking companies with loads to haul. In their own words: “We’re driven by a simple belief. When shippers and carriers have the freedom to move together, the entire industry moves ahead”

Discover more details here.

Some of the highlights of the episode:

  • How Uber Freight helps drivers make faster and better decisions through pricing transparency
  • The 4M’s of Hyper Scaling- Management, Metrics, Meetings and Messaging
  • Over 85% of carriers in the US have fewer than 10 trucks - why does that matter?
  • How Uber Freight managed to move 137 loads in the middle of a hurricane.
  • 5% of freight being tendered to carriers is being rejected - how is Uber Freight helping solve that problem
  • Number one management skills needed for Hyper Scaling
  • “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit.”

Follow us on:
Instagram: http://bit.ly/2Wba8v7
Twitter: http://bit.ly/2WeulzX
Linkedin: http://bit.ly/2w9YSQX
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2HtryLd



Support the show

Speaker 1:
0:00
Hello and welcome to the leaders in supply chain podcast. I am your host, Roger Palomar, you managing director of Elkwood Global. Our mission is to connect the supply chain ecosystem in Asia and globally by bringing forward the most interesting leaders in the industry. And it's my pleasure to have with us today. Bill Driggers co founder and global head of operations of Uber Freight. Uber freight is the logistics on demand business of Uber connecting shippers and trucking companies across the U S and Europe in their own words. We are driven by a simple belief when she present carriers have the Friedland freedom to move together. The entire industry moves ahead. Prior to joining Uber build spent time at Amazon as director of Planning and innovation with oversight of the new initiatives in final mile delivery in chocolate. And he was also a founding team member, a coyote logistics, which was later on acquired by ups and he was also the company's chief innovation officer. Bill, pleasure to have you with us today and thanks for joining us. Yeah, absolutely. It's my pleasure. Happy to be here. Super. So maybe let's start with a little bit of background on yourself and how did you, you know, I've been a little bit also about your career in logistics and how you ended up, uh, you know, leading to Uber Freight and at Uber Freight in general.
Speaker 2:
1:10
Yeah, absolutely. So I've been in freight and logistics since 2006 and I've been in operations for my, my whole career, most of my time and freight. I've either been building businesses out of 2006. I helped get Cody started out and build that up or also thinking about technology and how to make Craig more efficient to technology. So, um, you know, with that, I, I started thinking about this concept that we were afraid, uh, as early as it was about 2012. Um, I wasn't the only one thinking about it. Rephrase. There's actually between 2012 and 2016, there was something like 40 companies are starting to call themselves Uber for afraid. Uh, but I remember putting a PowerPoint together back in 2012 about how, how we should build Uber for freight, um, and how execution can be simplified to technology. So with abs and through a kind of a series of fortunate connections, I got introduced to the team at Otto trucking and we all run.
Speaker 2:
2:09
So Otto trucking was the autonomous trucking company that got acquired by Uber in early 2016. I got connected with them. We started talking about go to market strategies for the autonomous tech that actually evolved into a conversation around Uber for freight like product. And then when Uber was Uber came in and acquired auto, they're actually simultaneously been a team at Uber who have been working on similar problem and kind of pushing the idea of freight product with an Uber. So once that acquisition went through, the two teams came together, that became the seed of the freight business. And then that was when we, we started just building freight. That was September of 2016.
Speaker 1:
2:54
Yes. Oh, I mean it's, it's, um, it's fascinating how, I mean I think Steve Jobs, I write that a, you have to look backwards to connect the dots. So it seems like there was, there's, there's clearly a pattern in your, in your career around that. Um, and maybe tell us a little bit, cause I know that I'll, I'll, I'll go a little bit to then, to the question, uh, after the, the, the first question that I had in mind is like on the pricing and transparency side, right? Because Uber Freight, um, says that basically you're the only providing the truckload market that has the 100% transparency on the rates. How does that work? How does your pricing model work and how are you able to provide that, uh, you know, that, that type of transparency.
Speaker 2:
3:36
Yeah, absolutely. So ever since we started, we thought fundamentally we want to make the market more transparent, efficient, and reliable and renewed to do that. Pricing transparency would be a key piece of that for a variety of reasons. But the simplest way to think about it is if I'm a driver and I'm trying to make it quick decision and I'm trying to get information about the market, knowing that I have a price that I can just where I can just hit a button and it's a committed price that allows me to make better decisions and will also allows make faster decisions and commit to create more quickly to makes the market more efficient. So that was always something that we thought would be critical as we built out the market on the back end and to get real time pricing. We have a team of data scientist who's continually looking at inputs, which include what we've executed at four.
Speaker 2:
4:26
So prior pricing history we also have third party pricing data, particularly in the US. There are now several companies which provide data on market prices and market movements, both historical and real time. So we're able to use that data to help kind of dial in our own internal models. A, but really it's, it's our own in gyms. We've developed a bottoms up estimates what we think pricing is per lane, as well as we've been taken all the external data. We also take real time signals about what's going on in the market. So we're, we're big enough now and we have enough scale and enough usage that we have pretty strong signals about a demand in a given market. So if a, if we see that 100 drivers and, uh, Portland, Oregon are all looking at one single load, we know that there's probably high demand for that load. And we also know that if a load gets booked within one second, which we've seen happen, that there's high demand for that load. So all of these things feed into the pricing engine and then we'd dynamically adjust those prices in real time. So today, every single price that a carrier sees is generated dynamically. Those prices, they also adjust. So if a log is not moving, if nobody's looking at a of it or does it seem that it's attractive in the market, that will, that price will start to creep up over time.
Speaker 1:
5:47
Yeah. Um, and what would be, I mean, when you're talking about, you know, this, this is, this is a dynamic, uh, uh, pricing and location and a dynamic unit pricing modeling. But then also you're, you've, you've grown tremendously, right? So I mean, I think I was looking at it, you know, I can't remember the exact numbers, but you know, over the last, uh, over the last couple of quarters is it's been a significant growth in the Uber freight side of the business that comes with challenges. And that comes also with, you know, with, uh, obviously with the, with the things that you need to improve and keep up with and, and further FastTrack on the operations side. Tell us a little bit about that. What's your biggest problems right now in how you're technically on the operations side?
Speaker 2:
6:28
Yeah, so I think you touched on it. The number one challenge with an operations is just keeping up with the rate at which we're scaling. I think hyper scaling has some very unique challenges. I think the, the core challenges is ensuring that the infrastructure is keeping up with the organization. Um, hiring of course is also a significant challenge. But, uh, within that you have, we have managers or employees that are having to scales in the role very quickly as well. So making sure we provide the support systems and the infrastructure to do that. We have managers that came on board managing one or two people that are all now managing over a hundred within a very short period of time. So we have to be continually mindful that we're kind of evolving the organization with that. And the way that I think about that actually have a rubric.
Speaker 2:
7:14
My four m's that I, the forums games I've ever structured, it's so it's management, making sure that we have the right managers and we're thinking ahead, uh, and always hiring ahead. I think it's very important to have leadership before you need it, uh, so that you can fill in those leaders as the organization grows versus trying to scramble and uplevel beaters who may or may not be ready. The other piece is metrics. So it's critical that you have the right data so that you have the right signals about the organization because the org continues to scale. He can quickly lose sight of what's happening on the ground and you won't necessarily get those signals unless you've been very diligent about getting the right reports and metrics and data along the way. And putting that in place. Um, the other is, uh, is meetings. So, uh, it's pretty fundamental, but making sure that you're meeting with the right people and having the right face to faces and continually evaluating that because who you meet with, that needs to be changing as your hyper scaling because you need to be getting different signals, making sure that you're getting that kind of one on one signal from individuals.
Speaker 2:
8:18
Um, and the last is messaging. So as you scale the communications across the organization, that quickly break down and all of a sudden, particularly from the leadership, however you identify that you've got a blind spot because you're not hearing the right things or the messaging isn't there. Um, so ensuring that if it's a weekly update or, um, again, back to the metric system that's been compiled in the right ways that you have signals on your organization. So that was, those are the, for me, the four ends of hyper scaling and how I think about what's important to continually evaluate each quarter as we continue to scale. Um, but yeah, it's, that's in the core challenge is just, and, and you never get it perfect. And another part of hyper scaling is, is being super diligent and privatization to make sure that some things may not be working, but they may not be important. Uh, and to always ensure that you're focusing on the areas that business would show a priority or the most outlined with the scale of which you're at. Yes.
Speaker 1:
9:23
Ah, very well. I mean, I like and like the forums, uh, I mean it's also easy to remember, right? So, uh, uh, yeah, Management Matrix meetings, messaging. Very good. I mean, I'll, I'll take that, I'll, I'll, I'll steal it from you. Oh, thanks for sharing. Um,
Speaker 2:
9:40
how about let's talk a little bit about, you know, cause in the, in the world there's
Speaker 1:
9:46
basically everywhere. I think that there's a, there's a trucker shortages, right? So in the U S we, here we have it, you have it in, in Europe there are, there are quite a few, maybe usually slightly less, but definitely in us and Europe. It's a problem. It's a big problem. Uh, what type of initiatives are you, um, if any, um, are you taking to, uh, to kind of tackle this?
Speaker 2:
10:07
Yeah, we, um, we've been very carrier obsessed since day one. And the reason is that when we look at this market to see where the biggest problems were, uh, we quickly realized it was on the carrier side. Uh, in that, in almost all markets we look at worldwide, the carrier ecosystem is highly fragmented, uh, in the US, uh, you know, over 85% of carriers have fewer than 10 trucks. So there, there's a lot of very small carriers and those small carriers typically have a hard go of it. Um, shepherds, you don't have great payment terms. Carriers have a hard time finding good freight. Uh, Carrie's having a hard time retaining talent. And if I'm a new owner operator who just into the market, I have a very hard time getting access to good faith. It's just a very difficult market to operate in. And if I'm a new driver and I go work for a big carrier, really typically have seniority rules, which mean that I'm not getting the best freight and my quality of life may suffer it's results.
Speaker 2:
11:06
So what we see is that drivers are entering the market at a steady pace, but they're leaving even faster, which, uh, which we've may inter and they have a tough go of it that we've so fundamentally we think that the number one thing we can do to keep drivers in the market is to give them more work options and to make the market more accessible. Uh, there was a great quote early on by one of our early drive, you said deliberate the freight, right? He's an owner operator. And historically he always had that call and negotiate and there was a hard time flying freight and all of a sudden he just hit a button and get it. So we think that the number one thing we can do is, is uh, making the market more transparent and more efficient, allowing drivers to have that immediate access to freight and keep their trucks moving so that they don't have to spend as much time just chasing down.
Speaker 2:
11:54
Good. Fred the on that we think it's also important for us, uh, to find ways to lower the cost to operate, to improve the operating environment for carriers. Uh, there's several ways that we're doing that is, is one, uh, we have a program called freight class, which is really a basket or a whole set of discounts that we've been able to negotiate given our scale, uh, with uh, providers such as tire manufacturers and fuel manufacturers and even health insurance providers where we can provide carriers, big fleet level discounts with companies providing many of their core consumables. And so lowering their operating cost is key. Um, giving them access to good fruit, uh, is key. And then improving their experience on the road. So the other thing that we've done is we have facility rating. This where carers can rate facilities, they can get transparent information on how those facilities operate.
Speaker 2:
12:46
But we're also then going back to those facilities and working with them after reaching out to customers and saying, how can we help you improve the operations of these facilities? Because carriers aren't having a good experience. They're being detained. Maybe there aren't good, uh, maybe they just don't have good amenities of the facility. There's a variety of reasons why carrier can have a bad experience. That's silly. That's something we heard from, from carers as well. So we're trying to tackle this problem, uh, on multiple fronts. Uh, and we think that, you know, Uber Being Uber, we have the resources and through technology and through partnerships with other companies, we can make this whole ecosystem more friendly to drivers and carriers. Uh, now that we've launched in New York, we're taking a similar approach in Europe and trying to identify how we can improve that market, but ultimately driving and being a carrier, it's a tough job. And so whatever we can do to make that job a little bit easier, I think that will go a long way and keep them drivers in pocket.
Speaker 1:
13:40
And I'm just wondering, cause I mean at the end of the day, basically also, I can imagine that the big, uh, challenge that you're, you're basically solving for, especially the smaller, the medium size trucking company and carriers is the fact that they, they all of a sudden can get access to a good freight to big companies that typically maybe would have 10 the processes and would have, you know, uh, uh, preferential contracts with large carriers and operators. It's almost like it's a little bit of a syndicate in, in some ways. I mean, maybe for lack of a better word, um, but I'm, I'm also being cognizant of the fact that, um, corporate accounts in general and there is a behavior that they tend, or they used to choose the freight providers, longterm partnerships, low risk, and they tried to, you know, obviously keep, uh, their risks very low. So there's, there's a little bit of a dichotomy, right?
Speaker 1:
14:35
Because, um, if I am, if I am a shipper, you know, I want to make sure that the, obviously my freight is in good hands and is his, is safe and uh, and for that reason, typically the bigger carriers would get the the job or we get the contract. How does it work in the, in the Uber Freight model, right? Because you kind of enabling that. And I still think that there's an obviously the certain freight, I mean like healthcare, which I'm pretty sure, or life sciences or I'm pretty sure that those guys would not be using Uber freight for the moment because it's very specific conditions of transportation. But for other type of freedom when you're talking you move the, in Europe, I think your first client was Heineken or was it, yeah. How does that work, you know, from that, you know, risk perspective of big corporate accounts. Yeah, I would, yeah.
Speaker 2:
15:22
So we are, when we go to a big corporate account or big enterprise customer, we are also looking to build a long term relationship and a longterm contractual relationship. Um, because what we've seen there is a depth. Definitely difference between Europe and the U S and that I'd say the u s um, shippers are more comfortable allocating food across the bigger set of providers. And taking a little more risk is where in Europe we see more, more of that single sourcing for a division or the longer term commitments to two providers. Um, but we understand that, uh, shippers, they don't want to take on more rate risk and they want to have a certainty of capacity as well. And for us, we can, we, we can provide that. In fact, a big part of, I think our advantage is because we built this very efficient execution platform.
Speaker 2:
16:12
It's actually a very reliable platform. So a lot of why we're having success with shepherds is that we're able to source capacity in any, in any market because we have this kind of preferred access to sh to carriers because they're logging in 24, seven and they know they're going to get paid quickly. And they, you know, they, they tend to go to our load board first before they pick up the phone and call other people, which gives us a certain amount of resiliency. But internally we, there are a lot of risks so we are always buying in real time under current market conditions. So for us, we may have a commitment to a shipper at a fixed rate, a say 1000 euros, but we may buy one day at 800 and the next day at 1200 in market. So we are providing that commitment to the big shippers where they have the certainty we can operate within that, that context and those sorts of commitments.
Speaker 2:
17:05
But then buying them real time. And a part of what we've been provided is that, uh, that stability to the shippers, right? Well, we know that we can execute well and source that capacity and as we build more data about the markets, we have a very good understanding of how that market may go up and down throughout the year, throughout the season. And so the shipper doesn't, they have to pair that. I think one thing to understand too is from a chef perspective, there always is some rate risk and coverage risk. And it varies depending on how they structured the contracts, but the longer the contract and the less risk there is, then there is a cost to that because ultimately on the carrier side and carriers have to be able to manage their costs as well. So there's always going to be some trade off between those things.
Speaker 2:
17:50
Uh, and I do believe long term that more and more afraid we'll move towards not necessarily spot where every load is floating, but two more realtime rate commitments or rates and contract terms are generated in real time and do directly KPIs. Um, so we use the role that we play. It's very much for making this efficient market where we can always source capacity, whatever prices needed to move that load on a given day, which is a very service oriented approach. Uh, but we understand on the shipper side that we also need to then be able to intelligently price that in a way that we can commit longterm shippers, could control their costs and understand the risks and the risk versus cost trade off.
Speaker 1:
18:34
And I love that. Maybe let's take to take a moment to, to, let me ask you for some case studies or some examples in terms of your work with shippers in where you tangibly and, and you know, from a either operational cost or efficiency or risk management or maybe you have certain examples and I'm sure you do where you're starting and working with, especially with the bigger clients. Let's take the, the clients and bigger shipper shippers because a m I think that would be, it would be interesting and maybe we can also take a smaller one. Um, but just to kind of look at how did Uber Freight help them? Uh, tangibly and, and specifically,
Speaker 2:
19:09
yeah. So I'll give a, um, a, an example from way back in 2017, which is, it's one of my favorite examples because it was the first time we really saw the benefit of the real time execution, which was when hurricane Harvey came through. So Hurricane Harvey came through and it came through during the week. And so it was, uh, it was Friday evening or late Friday when shippers really started to react and to try to get freight into the, uh, the, uh, hurricane zone, which was Houston, Texas. And so Friday evening we started getting calls, uh, from our partners, both Anheuser Busch and in Niagara Bottling, who were trying to ship water and into the, into the area. And because, and this isn't a contractual example, this is more of a, I'd say resiliency in a sourcing example of how we were able to find capacity quickly and instantaneously. Um, they called us, they started sending up loads, uh, and we started putting those loads onto the platform or the size of love and moving in minutes.
Speaker 2:
20:09
And we were able to then get a very quick, clear signal on the market and we could do that because we already knew where those drivers were. We could see that they had been logging into the application and we could send them instantaneous and notifications and text because they were in the area. And so we had drivers logging out on a Friday night when other other providers weren't picking up the phone or even responding. Uh, and so in the end we were able to move 137 loads and it was one individual that was managing all that freight coming in. And that just, that sort of efficiency and response would be incredibly difficult in a traditional, uh, environment. Um, and that's an example of where, uh, we were able to, to one, discover the price in the market very quickly and thereby we were actually able to price more effectively.
Speaker 2:
20:56
So when there was a shippers were able to get other providers on the phone, they were typically pricing with a rate where they were trying to manage their risks. So because it was such a unique circumstance, they had no idea what the price was. So they may say, oh, it's, you know, $5,000 because they don't know until they start picking up the phone and calling carriers. And then when they call the carriers, they start negotiating and then they're doing price discovery is where we were able to take a little bit of a risk and start putting freight out immediately, lower price and immediately get a single and know that the market was clearing, which allowed us to tailor the prices within minutes versus what would have traditionally taken hours. Um, so the reason that's important is because most of the budget creep within large shippers happens in these kind of unforeseen circumstances.
Speaker 2:
21:43
Peak moments, holidays or uh, capacity, just capacity situations, which may not have been well predicted or forecasted. And it's in those times were being able to access the trucks quickly and react quickly, allows us to buy better as where I think of it like surge pricing, right? So if you don't have a good execution mechanism, your search price may be five actually normal. The more efficient your execution, maybe the search price is only 70% more. And so that allows us to better control the rates across the year because we're better able to handle those instances when the weights to really surging or getting out of whack, which allows us to make a better commitment than longterm to shippers. So with, uh, with several of those customers, actually Niagara included as we, as we've gone into contractual negotiations to then because we have that data because we have the understanding across the year when it might search and we feel we're able to execute, we're able to price them that contract more effectively and then log in at a very high service.
Speaker 2:
22:44
Uh, another good actually example of, of that is, so this year it's been a pretty soft market, but, uh, and so acceptance rates have been pretty high for carriers. But if you look in the U s Freightways publishes an index and they publish an index, which tells what percent of tenders get rejected. And I think the lowest that number got to was four to 5%. Meaning that if you look at the universe, that means 95% of freight being tendered to carriers as being accepted and 4% to 5% it's being rejected. We tend to track at the 99% to 100% rate. And we recently did a presentation with land O'Lakes and with Landa lakes a year to date. We've tracked, we've taken 100% of all freight tendered to us. And again, that's the contractual commitment where, because we know that we can source that effectively, even when it surges and we have that execution capability, then when we commit to a rate, it's a committed rate. Right. Whereas where historically the great commitments I've always not been for at least in the u s no, that's, that's,
Speaker 1:
23:46
that's, that's a fantastic actually, I mean obviously that, that's a big problem for, for the shippers when they can't find that 5% of the Lowe's due to be moved, uh, that, that, that, that can create a lot of England Indians is, um, and, and, and headaches. [inaudible] with that. I, I'm also wondering, you know, what's some sort of a new question in my mind, you know, when you'll sell two new new again, let's take big corporates right for a moment. When you sell it to be corporate, the council you try, you're in the process of selling, you're in the business development side. What's some of the typical, biggest challenges and biggest, uh, points where you really need to convince them to take up the Uber Freight Solution? What tends to be the biggest blockers when it comes to them adopting the, the, the platform?
Speaker 2:
24:32
Yeah, I think early on it was a lot of just educating what we were afraid is. So I'll, a lot of times I think people are grounded in Uber and they understand that Uber, um, and trying to relate that to freight, uh, there's an assumption that, okay, my is a shipper. Well, I download an app. Do I have to download an app or are you only, are you sourcing anybody on the care side? Are you sourcing drivers directly? So getting over those humps that, you know, we are, uh, from a shipper side, right? We're in, we're interfacing directly with your, your, uh, your tms. And on the driver's side we're looking through carriers and we have a very robust safety and compliance process. So it's usually a little bit of just education. I think from a shipper perspective though, we've had a lot of, I think, oh, a huge amount of success because, um, people understand the value of Uber.
Speaker 2:
25:25
And so people understand that Uber has been able to build out this massive operational capability, personal transportation. So there's a certain amount of trust that comes with it where, uh, there's a little education around, okay, well then how does that Uber translate to Uber Afraid? Uh, but once we get past that, there's this huge amount of buy-in around the fact that Uber has proven that they, that we can execute, that we have, that we are this a technology leader and that we've been able to translate this a very real world operating environment and to a very robust technology platform. So it's, um, once we get through that education, then I would say being then it's more of a, just I'd say a very traditional process and that shippers will typically, and in this industry across the world be conservative with their initial allocation. So they say, great, we were afraid.
Speaker 2:
26:23
We trust you've got the technology, but, uh, and we know that you had historically to have this operational capability and now prove it to me. So there's usually a little bit of a period where, yeah, we'll get a lane here or access to the spot or improve out that we can actually deliver. And that's when it's more pointed than anything to out service the freight. And that's really where the advantages of the platform become obvious because they say, okay, well you took every load that I sent you, you service that at a good rate, showed up on time. Um, and now I'm comfortable. Now I'm willing to expand that relationship. And so most of our, our growth comes up and that, ah, ongoing development of the relationship with the customer. Meaning that if we, uh, if we, if I look at 2019 and where all of our growth is, his comments come from customers that we landed maybe 12 months ago that were testing us out, building relationships, uh, understanding our capabilities, and then now that they understand them, they're starting to scale those out.
Speaker 2:
27:25
So there haven't been, uh, I'd say significant challenges or pushback other than just conservatism and their approach to market. And that some customers may be, uh, a little more conservative and, and could slowly make changes within their network. Um, and within that though, it's a little bit different in Europe in that as we discussed earlier, it's there can be more single sourcing in contractual periods can be long. So that process is just longer. But within any transportation department, I'd say it's usually a pretty strong appetite to test a new provider, um, because there's, it's possible to do that in a pretty controlled way. Uh, and then at that provider demonstrates value, then, uh, it continued to scale. So yeah. Um, see, I'd say it's been one of the things that I've been most a impressed with his, our, our sales team's ability to just get in the door with so many very large shippers.
Speaker 2:
28:28
And even very early on, we had a lot of buying from, from big enterprise shippers. You know, Anheuser Busch has a customer that we've, uh, in public with Niagara as well. They came on very early before the technology was really developed because they understood the vision and they understood what people could bring to market. Um, and I think like anything, you have your early adopters who are willing and eager to try out new approaches to market and want to test that out and help develop that within their own, uh, operations. And then you have the kind of delayed adopters who I was going to be a little more conservative and cautious and they want to know that we have scale and that we really deliver it before they oh, test us out. Yeah.
Speaker 1:
29:11
And I'm curious a little bit about the, in a lot of people are a little bit about your European expansion. So now you're, you're driving that Eureka, you actually are in Amsterdam as we speak. Um, and, and you're aggressively developing the, at the market. How does success look like for you in, in Europe? Like the, you know, what's your, you know, let's say in a couple of years, what's your, you know, what's your ideal state? How would you measure that? Okay. Uber freight has been a very successful at, at, at conquering, let's say, the European market.
Speaker 2:
29:42
Yeah, I'd say the, um, yeah, Europe is a, uh, it's a very interesting market because it's is, as we looked internationally and we thought about where we want to go next or Europe was, was always at the top of that list. And primarily because we have a lot of um, customer interest and particularly for the customers that we worked with in the u s that also had operations in Europe as we've come to market. I think we, we had a few concerns around how well all of our technology and all of our processes would translate to Europe. One of the advantages though that we have is that when we launch in the US, we had no debt. We started operations on the same day. We started building the technology. So it took us, uh, seven, eight months to like the tech out the door as we were scaling initially.
Speaker 2:
30:35
But we don't have that challenge in Europe. We were able to launch with our own platform, with the tech from day one. Awesome. Now it's um, it's more about how do we then continue to evolve that product for each for European needs and um, and tailor it to each, uh, interpretive particular, uh, um, uh, region in language and karyotype cross here. So to your question about what does success look like? Uh, we have similar aspirations in Europe that we did in the u s we see somewhat opportunity, similar challenges. It's a highly fragmented care environment. Some of the unique challenges over say the east west divided and the Cabota JJ laws and some of the other kind of regulatory differences that you're not seeing other markets and have that I manage around that. We are working very closely with regulatory authorities and policy bodies, security groups really understand how to localize our engagement as we keep, as we expand in each country.
Speaker 2:
31:30
So I can't share specifically with other markets, but clearly our intentions are to expand across Europe. And um, as we do that we are being very thoughtful about how to, how to engage with each market as each market as slowly different concerns. So I'd say success success in five years would be to have that Trans European presence. I have to feel like we did a great job on word of really engaging each Italy. The local are uh, regulatory sororities as well as carry groups in that, uh, we have a strong presence really within each of those. And then we're adding value. So to me, ultimate success is that in five years from now, if you talk to any carrier, they said, yeah, you're afraid. It's great. I use it for, no, I think big part of my business it's so easy and it's, and then they can speak to all the ways in which we've added value and made their operations easier, made them stay in the business and have to read that.
Speaker 2:
32:25
That would be success factor. Then on the shipper side, a success factor versus a success. To me it would be shippers, being able to tell a similar story so you know, I was, I had no visibility. All of a sudden I had a perfect visibility and I, we thought the way that I do operations, because all of a sudden I had this real time access to pricing and capacity. I never worry anymore about whether I need a truck and say, yeah, one particular region where hatch struggles before because I'll suddenly know that I could see exactly what's going on or I can make decisions about my operation and proactively plan around potential capacity shifts or seasonal shifts because I, I have that visibility and that access and as I'm making my own planning decisions now I on sudden have better information around price and capacity. So that would be a success as well. Um, so yeah, that's, I think that's the easiest way I always think about it is from the, in state, from the, from our customers, our shippers and our carriers. And what would I want them to be able to say about afraid five years down the road.
Speaker 1:
33:33
MMM. Yeah. Client first. Um, and I'm just curious and another question that came into my mind, um, because us one block of land, you know, a fairly compact Europe, one block of land, okay. There's a little bit more complexity in terms of regulations still you have European Union. So there is a common fundamental, the foundation let's say, or, or, or a, uh, yeah, kind of, you know, the fundamentals are saying, but then each country has as certain certain, um, uh, a unique set of rules. And then if you step out of the European Union, obviously it is different. But how about the Asia? Where Alba, yeah, Asia, let's, let's Talk Asia. I mean, have you, I'm sure you have considered, right? Um, and I also know that there are some entrenched, I mean in India there's again, big block of land is India one, one other one is of course China. Maybe Indochina with, with Thailand, Cambodia allows that area. Have you considered also at some point or are you considering also at some point coming to Asia or not? Not really.
Speaker 2:
34:31
I would say that all options are on the table. Um, the, if you look at global, uh, truckload transportation, domestic transportation markets or ground transportation markets, uh, China's number one us is number two. Um, and then Europe is number three. And then you've got, yeah, Brazil, India, um, yeah, Middle East Africa. There's, if you look at Uber's presence and where we've had success, that also dictates somewhat where we were thinking about expanding. Because I think one of the huge advantages of Uber is that we do have this global presence and it's always been a global company. So, uh, the expectation with the freight was always that it would similarly be a global company. And a lot of those global teams engaged very early to say. And I would get emails in my inbox from, you know, the GM say Australia saying, Hey, like what are you coming here?
Speaker 2:
35:28
I already did all the research, here's the plan and this is why you need to come here. Um, so certainly we have, we have done a lot of research because we've also had teams across the world that are very eager and interested and would love to see freight be the next major, uh, launch with Uber within their region. So, uh, we're, we're absolutely looking at, you know, Oh, where could we go next? I can't share at this point, like where that would be more of a depth of our research, but I can share it on high level. If you look across like in the world and where there's been investment, there are definitely, um, competitors and India, you've got blackbuck and Ravigo. I, there's a similar companies in Brazil, the cargo acts and then truck dad. And you've got, uh, competitors in China. Like FTA of course is I think the most notable one who's raised significant funding, I think $2 billion.
Speaker 2:
36:27
So, yes, there's definitely, um, I would say in heating up, the market's heating up globally. And so that's both, you know, interesting from our perspective and, uh, because if it informs us about the market and the opportunity, right? Because these, these companies are doing diligence, they're, they're investing, they're clearly figuring it out as they go. Ah, there, it also creates a little bit of pressure, right? So we don't, we don't want to wait too long if, if a particular market might be interested, we've got to be thoughtful about that. But, um, I would say at this point though, there's nothing beyond my focus is on Europe and that's, that's what we're at.
Speaker 1:
37:06
That's what we're, yeah. And also, I mean, I mean ultimately, and then of course, I mean, I don't, I didn't expect it to, to, to show necessarily the next market, but I was just curious in terms of the, in terms of the, the thought process behind it. And also, I mean, pragmatically and practically, you cannot fight in all markets at the same time. That's just not possible from, from just practical, practical reasons to launch everywhere. Um, but also I am a, I am cognisant that, you know, you have Uber, you have will be afraid, then you have Uber eats as well. Right then then it's quite, it's quite interesting. I mean since you mentioned it, let's just take Australia, right. And I know Uber eats is very strong in Australia. Again, there's, there is a benefit that, that, that you, Uber is a company and did as you know, in terms of synchronizing the efforts of across the platforms and then you can kind of cross pollinate and, and, and use.
Speaker 1:
37:54
And again, Australia is a big chunk of land as well. Um, so, uh, so that obviously plays in your favor. Um, what I know of is this sitting in the, well most of the time I'm in Singapore, but not really. But you know, in China there's, uh, like you said, there's some massive messaging and I think it's also softbank that that had some messy funding in, in the, in the company there for the, for the tracking or sharing, uh, growing quite, um, growing quite fast. But, uh, there's, there's a clear indication that, um, the future is, you said it's not sport. The future is, you know, is platforms. The future is, um, transparency and transparency led type of platform. So, uh, you know, then it's a matter for who gets in first, second, third, I guess in the different markets, um, and manages to keep innovating.
Speaker 1:
38:44
Um, and, um, and I wanted to kind of shift because part of the winning the, you know, winning in the market and being the leader or being in the front of a market or a part or maybe the biggest part in the most important part is not technology. Actually it's people because are those my belief at least because, uh, I mean it's also my business being a headhunter action, I believe in people, but also I think that, you know, you're going to have the best technology in the world, but ultimately it's people that use technology, not the other way around. So it's always about the human capital and who's driving it. So I wanted to bring the discussion a little bit in terms of, uh, around the, you know, how do you find and attract the right talent and especially in this high, uh, development and scale, really fast growing type of environment that Uber Freight is, is, is in, how do you, you know, how do you do it? Tell us a little bit, you know, some secrets or some, uh, some things that have worked for you in terms of finding that right talent to help you grow. I mean, you've not done it just in Aubrey of you've done it before in coyote as well, which was a fast growing enterprise. You've done it to them as on what's your principles that you applied to find, right, Dylan?
Speaker 2:
39:50
Yeah, no, I think, and that's, uh, that's the critical capability and the, I think the most important thing that as a leader or any manager on the team, we can be focused on to make sure that we have the right talent, the right team. And we as Uber freight bring talent from a lot of different backgrounds. We have deep operational capability. We have engineers, we have data scientists, technologist, sales sellers. But it's a very broad, basic skills. That's actually one of the things I love about Uber freight is that it is this very diverse set of backgrounds. We have people that come from industry, we have people come from technology in the valley. And you, Google's, I of course Uber, I've got a deep bench of internal transfers that came from Uber. So we've kind of mixed a lot of different cultures and capabilities. Uh, but with that too, there's a lot of different profiles.
Speaker 2:
40:40
So I think scaling at this rate and at this level, it's important to understand early the right profile for the job. Um, meaning that in an ideal operator, right, it's not necessarily an IB or product manager or a technologist. And I think understanding that and being very aware of that early on and finding the right fit is important. Um, so that we don't kind of stop and start in terms of defining profiles where you put people in roles that are happy for. So I think being very thoughtful about organizational design, role definition, scope, definition, what are the core competencies, skills of, well, I would say that we spent quite a bit of time doing that along the way to make sure that we have, uh, roles well defined. Um, I'd say that attracting talent is actually been, um, giving the pipeline builds out. Uh, uh, it has been, uh, uh, we've, we've had a lot of success with that particularly early on.
Speaker 2:
41:38
We made it soon, but our operations team in Chicago, and I think Uber within Chicago adds a very strong call and attraction. And I think Uber freight within Chicago, which is a very, let's say, operations oriented them to just exploring a city and, and talent days. I've had a very strong Paul to it, uh, because I think within, within the freight industry, uh, we have a, we have a lot of buzz and I'd say excitement around us. And when we entered the market, we were able to leverage that to get a, a lot in down interest as we looked at, um, on the engineering side that San Francisco is a very competitive market. You've got family, you've got Facebook and apple, Netflix and Google. Everybody else sits always fighting for the best possible engineers. And as a result, you have this huge pool of amazing engineers and amazing technologists.
Speaker 2:
42:31
But it's a very tough competition. So it's a very unique environment and we have to, I think, take a slightly different approach there. It has its own set of challenges. Um, and as we've come to Amsterdam, I think this is where we were able to, again, positive momentum I think is able to attract amazing talent. We had a lot of great internal talent that had had an interest in joining the team. Uh, so we, we've had to take a slightly different, um, strategies would go to say each market. And as we focus on each team and you know, there's different challenges I'd say by Ah, employee type, uh, I think the, we would have been in a much tougher situation if we hadn't spent that time to appropriately define every one of those roles. And I'd say that if I look historically where we did our challenges, it was exactly because of that. When we started to build a team out, we realized that the profile wasn't really a good set for the role and we had to make adjustments. We defined the role, kind of adjust those, uh, those teams. So again, I think that's the, like the number one way to proactively work around those challenges is just to be as precise as possible. The role, uh, the role definitions, which requires of course being thoughtful about strategy and expansion and operational planning and all the rest. You have to make sure that all the pieces are lined up well.
Speaker 1:
43:53
And, and again, probably to your point with, you know, when you started in us, you had to build the tech as you, as you started the company in, in, in Europe, you already have a model and then you can, you can kind of duplicate it to a certain extent. Um, I guess that also comes with the, you know, failing test and test and fail and learn from, from mistakes. Um, uh, also in terms of GDS and in terms of defining roles. Um, but I'm just, I'm just curious or not one particular element, which is you mentioned, right? One person starts at managing one, two people in any, in a fairly short duration of time, six, 12 months. I don't know, it can, uh, something like that. It can end up leading a team of 100. Um, I know Danielle rights, so Daniel is leading your, your European operations and he came from Uber.
Speaker 1:
44:36
So I think, you know, internal transfer, it's easy because in some ways, right? Because Uber already experienced that high growth type of trajectory. But if you were to hire somebody, uh, outside of the organization, let's say, right, how would you know that? Because again, you're principal right? Thing forward, you know, can this person adapt and learn and you know, you're okay, you can do the job now, but in 12 months that job will probably grow 10 times or God knows. Right? So how, are there certain principles that you apply to be able to tell if that person is able to do it? What's your, what's your barrier mentor? What's your, you know, a console in terms of identifying whether, whether or not is the good fit.
Speaker 2:
45:12
Yeah, I'll dig back into a, to my background a bit. So I spent two years at Amazon and I think over 20 years Amazon's done a pretty good job of being able to identify the fast growth, high scaling, particularly operational talent. And so when we started the refrain, I did lean on that in the sense that they have a very well defined leadership principles and uh, defining the exact capabilities you need for these types of roles. And so we've kind of taken and tailored that and we were, has its own set set of principles and evolve that. But I think the fundamentals of what defined a very entrepreneurial operational leader that could come in and scale a team like that are pretty consistent. And I look for, as an example, I advise fraction this is somebody that is always going to step in front of a problem on proactively identify problems and work quickly to resolve them.
Speaker 2:
46:09
And have they demonstrated that or their history? Are they very data-driven? Do they, uh, do they look to the numbers to guide them, but you know, while also moving quickly when they need to, uh, can they operationalize? So they have a proven history of actually managing to metrics and being able to improve those metrics and putting action plans a behind them. We also say very much value kind of innovation and thinking big and patients. So is this somebody that's creative and a creative problem solver and have they again demonstrated that throughout their history? Um, and then in terms of managerial capabilities, right? And number one, are they empathetic? Are they a good listener? Do they listen to their team? Are they empowered? Do they, have they they have, do they have the ability to empower their team and kind of, uh, uh, let them run?
Speaker 2:
46:56
Because I'd say the number one management skill and competency for hyper scaling is delegation and providing autonomy because there's no way that, uh, when you're going from one person to 100 along the way, you have to, you have to be able to let go, right? You have to be able to make sure that you're empowering your team. And putting the right controls in where you don't have to get into the weeds because that, that limits your scale. The more you feel like you have to get into it, the more limiting you are in terms of your own ability to scale and scope. So, um, so yeah, at this point we've got a pretty good, we've got a pretty good sense of that. It's something that we continue to tune in and have conversations around and, uh, you know, work in trying to relate to make sure that we have the right approach to hiring and that we're also supporting our people and giving them the infrastructure to succeed. Um, okay.
Speaker 1:
47:52
Hmm. And how about the future? Let's see, 10 years on the line, how do you see the skills that the, and what type of skills and, and um, and future, uh, type of abilities do you see needed in the industry? Or do you see more and more of the data tech data scientists type of skills, his need being needed, automation, you know, you know, what type of, uh, I get this question a lot, especially from, from people. I mean when I speak and I get called to speak at universities or young graduates or MBA, even MBA graduates sometimes ask, you know, like it should be focused on to stay relevant. Right? So what do you think five, 10 years down the line, what kind of skills would make you relevant to make you stay relevant?
Speaker 2:
48:34
So I think data science and all the associated skills below that will become increasingly important. I think the rigor of analysis will continue to evolve. I'm just looking at how our internal operations and have shifted in the brief time we've been in the market is we have automated more and more gathered more and more data. The analysis has become more and more important than we've continued to scale out our, ah, data science and our analytical capability. So I think then one layer, one layer back would be just core data capable of competencies. So, um, I think having a fundamental, you know, excel and a sequel or Google docs competency, I think that's been a kind of baseline capability for 10 years now in terms of being able to, could participate in this industry and really drive solutions forward. But I think that will only become more and more important.
Speaker 2:
49:31
And with that engineering, computer science, if I, if I had gone back 20 years and started over, I probably would, uh, you know, knowing what I know now, I would've picked up computer science. It's just in the future becomes more and more driven by, by software. And then as we automate and streamline operations, then it becomes more and more important to understand the operations, which is where the data competency, the data science comes into play. Um, beyond that, I'm still a huge believer that selling, it's a fundamental skill. Any entrepreneur, um, and a good seller is a problem solver. But as the industry and as the problems become more data rich and more complicated, I think salesmanship and how people sell within this industry with conversations that they have well become much more consultative. Um, and much more solution oriented. So I'd say consultated selling, being able to think systematically about problems, being able to have those very high level conversations with carers in shippers will become more and more important because I think what will happen and what we're seeing even it was in our, uh, within our operations is, but the transactional management side of it, that kind of short cycle selling where the lower touch and lower complexity side of it is, I'm becoming more and more automated and one more streamlined.
Speaker 2:
50:59
But the more complex salesmanship, the more complex analysis and the coordinate engineering, um, that doesn't go away. Right. That just becomes increasingly important.
Speaker 1:
51:10
Yes. Final question from me, um, what's the best piece of advice that you've received throughout your career?
Speaker 2:
51:19
Yeah. One of my favorite quotes, which was shared with me early on by my first manager is, it is amazing what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit. It's been attributed to Truman. Uh, I've seen various versions of it attributed to different, different people. Um, but for me, while I, I do believe it's important to advocate for yourself and periodically kind of poke your head up from your work and say, Hey, here's what I've done. I believe that if you have core obsession is ensuring that you do right work and that the right thing always gets done regardless of who does it or who gets credit, you'll always go much farther in life. The more you focus on the work, the more you celebrate others, more advocates you build along the way so that when you do poke your head up and talk to the leadership, they already know the story.
Speaker 1:
52:07
Yes. Um, no, I mean it's, it's, it's very true and thanks for sharing that. And I think, um, I think in a lot of, let's say, bigger corporate environments, um, there's a lot of people that, uh, forget that then it's, it's a lot more about politics and playing games than it is about getting stuff done. And that obviously also the reason why companies fail ultimately. But, uh, uh, yeah, great sharing and thanks for, thanks for sharing that with us. Uh, Bill, it's been a pleasure to have you a appreciate all the different, uh, irrelevant case studies and, and, and being very open about where you are and how you plan to grow, uh, Uber Freight and we wish you all the best and uh, and, and keep growing, keep developing, keep attracting good, uh, good people to the team to, to grow the, grow it further. And you know, we'll, we'll be back in touch in a few years and I'll look forward to the new year to the new stories and the end to the new success, uh, case studies of we're afraid.
Speaker 2:
53:04
It's been a pleasure. Thank you for having me.
Speaker 3:
53:06
Thank you for listening to our podcast. If you liked what you heard, be sure to follow us on [inaudible] dot com slash podcast for all the show notes, links and extra tips covered in the interview. Make sure also to subscribe to our emailing list to get the news in the nick of time. If you're listening through a streaming platform like iTunes or stitcher and you like what we do, please kindly review and give us stars. So weekend, keep the energy flowing it, get more people to find out about our podcast. I'm most active on Linkedin, so do feel free to follow me to stay tuned for our latest articles as well as future guests for the podcast. And if you have any suggestions or any other idea, please feel free to write to me. I respond to all, and also please make sure not to miss our next episode where we will be having a few other c level and top leaders in supply chain joining us. Stay tuned.
Speaker 4:
53:54
Okay.
×

Listen to this podcast on